It’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so we want to use this Five Question Friday to feature one of our oncologists, Dr. Susan Sencer.
How long have you worked at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota? I have been at Children’s since 1991 as a “full-fledged doctor.” I really have been here on and off since 1982, though, since I came to both hospitals as a medical student and resident.
What drew you to treating kids with cancer? Oncology is an area of medicine which draws upon all of my skills and interests. It’s very scientifically interesting, since new things are always being discovered, learned or put into practice. Equally importantly, though, dealing with children with cancer is very emotionally rewarding, although certainly emotionally challenging as well.
It’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. If you could make families aware about anything about pediatric cancer, what would it be? Most children will never have to deal with cancer, or any other life-threatening illness.Thankfully. But if they do, most childhood cancers are now curable because of the many amazing medical advances over the last 50 years. Cancer treatment for children is an example of medical research at its best.
What do you love most about your job? Well, I certainly love my patients and their families. But I have to say that I also really love the people I work with. I think that the people who are drawn to working with children with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders are a unique bunch. Generally I say we are “quirky” and I love that about the folks I work with.
Do you have a favorite memory from working at Children’s? There is no one favorite memory. I treasure most of my memories, even when things don’t go well, or something tragic happens; my hope always is that by accompanying a child and his or her family on the cancer journey, we will have made a positive difference in some way. But one of my favorite times is when old patients come back to show off their own babies or college degrees or wedding photos!